The Illinois Institute of Technology has announced plans to convert its Main Building at 3300 S. Federal Street from administrative offices to residential apartments. Designed by Patten & Fisher in 1881 and completed in 1883, the redbrick structure is one of the Chicago's finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. The building was originally home to the Armour Institute, a technological trade school financed by Philip D. Armour of Armour and Company meatpacking fame. Though landmarked by the City of Chicago in 2004, the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Building has faced serious facade issues over the past several years which led to its inclusion on Preservation Chicago's list of most endangered buildings in 2015. It was about that time that the Illinois Institute of Technology began courting developers to save the crumbling landmarked structure by way of adaptive reuse.
The school will partner with Ohio-based developers MCM Company to bring as many as 84 apartment units to the historic building. While no timeframe has been given, the project will likely entail extensive renovation both inside and out. Fortunately, the building's finer architectural interior details such as vintage stained glass windows and a wrought-iron staircase have managed to survive the toll of time. According to a report from DNAinfo, the site's conversion to residential use will also require a zoning change with the city. The revitalization of the IIT campus is certainly a positive for the Bronzeville community which has been enjoying increased economic energy move south from McCormick Place and the red-hot South Loop neighborhood.
·IIT Landmark Main Building — Built in 1893 — Will Be Converted to Housing [DNAinfo]
·Mapping Chicago's Seven Most Endangered Buildings in 2015 [Curbed Chicago]
·Bronzeville archives [Curbed Chicago]